Are you interested in logging, forest management, or land clearing? We’ve been providing forestry services for landowners in CT, MA, and RI for over 55 years, and our work has earned us awards from the EPA and the Sand County Foundation. We can help you achieve your objectives.
Whether your goals are to improve the long-term health of your forest, conduct a timber harvest, convert forestland to open land, increase recreational access to your property, enhance wildlife habitat, generate income, or a combination of these, we can help!
Hull Forest Products and Hull Forest Products founder Bill Hull are the first New England recipients of the Aldo Leopold Conservation Award. Presented by the Sand County Foundation, New England Forestry Foundation, and American Farmland Trust, the award recognized outstanding achievement in the voluntary conservation of natural resources by American foresters, farmers, and ranchers.
Bill Hull showed an affinity for trees in his childhood Rhode Island backyard. By the age of 15 he convinced a local farmer to lend him the money to purchase a forest. He paid off the loan (with interest) two years later, and was on his way to becoming one of New England’s leading foresters.
While earning a forestry degree at the University of New Hampshire, Hull got his start in the lumber business sawing white oaks into barrel staves on an old-fashioned circular sawmill. Despite market downturns and collapses, bankruptcy scares, and several devastating fires, he bootstrapped a tiny business into the largest sawmill in southern New England. Today, Hull Forest Products manufactures more than 10 million board feet of lumber into sustainable building materials each year, including wood flooring sold mill-direct to the public.
With a business dependent on healthy, productive forests, he launched a woodland management division staffed with licensed foresters to help other landowners keep their woodlands intact by providing them a viable financial return.
He’s acquired more than 27,000 acres of forestland with a single-minded dedication for conserving working forests that provide bird and wildlife habitat and biodiversity across New England. In addition, Hull Forest Products manages thousands of acres of client woodlands in the Northeast, helping landowners grow value in their woods while keeping their forests as forests.
Hull Forest Products, which employs 80 people, is a family of forestland owner-investors working in the combined fields of forest management, timber harvesting, and wood products manufacturing and marketing.
Hull credits his rural background with teaching him that growing and harvesting trees helps the environment through increased wildlife habitat, improved air and water quality, and carbon sequestration. He has voluntarily placed conservation easements on 90 percent of his southern New England forests.
The Hull family has permanently protected 27,740 acres of forestland through Hull Forestlands, much of which is FSC-certified. By removing the possibility of development, it ensures that working forests will remain a source of timber for generations to come. These unique and environmentally important landscapes are home to wetlands, streams, and forests that sustain drinking water supplies for urban areas, and provide habitat for migratory waterfowl.
In 2000, Hull Forestlands participated in the largest private land protection project in Massachusetts history by permanently preserving more than 8,000 acres of working forestland. The Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs hailed the innovative project that spread across five watersheds in Massachusetts and Connecticut as a “regional model for innovative conservation of natural resources.”
“Bill Hull has been protecting and sustainably managing New England’s forests for decades, and New England Forestry Foundation is thrilled to recognize his tireless work with the Leopold Conservation Award,” said Bob Perschel, Executive Director of New England Forestry Foundation. “Over the decades, Bill has helped break new ground be introducing conservation methods like large-scale conservation easements, and he remains a key partner in our efforts to achieve a region-wide vision of forest protection and responsible management.”
“Bill Hull exemplifies the ideals of Aldo Leopold. His commitment to his industry, land conservation, community, and to the land on which he has built his legacy make him an ideal recipient of New England’s first Leopold Conservation Award,” said Nathan W. L’Etoile, New England Director of American Farmland Trust. “Like Bill, thousands of farmers, foresters, and forestland owners are working every day to protect land, provide clean water and air, combat climate change and produce safe, wholesome, high quality food and fiber for their communities.”
“Leopold Conservation Award recipients are at the forefront of a movement by America’s farmers, ranchers and foresters to simultaneously achieve economic and environmental success,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and CEO.
The New England Leopold Conservation Award is made possible through the generous support of New England Forestry Foundation, American Farmland Trust-New England, The John Merck Fund, The Ida and Robert Gordon Family Foundation, Wildlands and Woodlands, Whole Foods Market, David and Ann Ingram, and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Sand County Foundation, the nation’s leading voice for conservation on private land, created the Leopold Conservation Award to inspire American landowners by recognizing exceptional foresters, ranchers and farmers. In his influential 1949 book, A Sand County Almanac; Aldo Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage. He wrote it was “an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity.
Join us for our sawmill tour! Connecticut’s largest sawmill, Hull Forest Products, will host free sawmill tours of its forest products manufacturing facility in Pomfret Center, CT on Saturday October 19, 2019 from 8 am to 2 pm. Learn about forest management, timber harvesting, and wood manufacturing, and watch as local timber is transformed into finished products before your eyes. Observe the forest-to-floor process and develop a greater understanding of where local wood products come from and how they are made. Participants will also learn how using local wood helps conserve local forests.
This is a great “how it’s made” tour for all ages, free and open to the public, offered in conjunction with The Last Green Valley’s Walktober.
Hull Forest Products of Pomfret, Connecticut, has been making traditional wide plank wood flooring since the family sawmill got its start in New England over 54 years ago. The company began as a tiny backyard mill and evolved to become the largest sawmill in Connecticut, manufacturing over 10 million board feet of forest products each year.
Today thousands of homes and buildings in New England and beyond, including storied institutions like Yale and Harvard, feature custom wide plank wood flooring from this third generation family-run sawmill.
Wide Plank Wood Flooring Made With Sustainable Local Timber
Made with sustainable local timber coming from family forests in New England, Hull wide plank wood flooring adds beauty to your home and gives you the satisfaction of knowing where your wood comes from. The woodland management division of Hull Forest Products stewards over 50,000 acres of New England forests, providing long-term forest management to landowners and helping them keep their forests as forests.
Hull Forest Products has earned an Environmental Merit Award from the EPA for its role in helping to conserve the region’s working woodlands. When you choose a Hull wood floor, you are helping to conserve forests in the United States.
Hull Forest Products specializes in long and wide plank wood floors and custom matching stair components – all products are made to last for generations, and customers receive a lifetime quality guarantee. Wood products are sold mill-direct to the public with nationwide shipping.
When Yale University new residential colleges architect Robert A.M. Stern specified rift and quartersawn Red Oak floors from Yale’s own university forests, Hull Forest Products made that dream a reality.
As a woodland management service and a sawmill, Hull Forest Products was able to plan and undertake a timber harvest in Yale’s CT forest. Together with Red Oak logs from Yale’s NH forest, this timber became the stock for the flooring. Hull Forest Products trucked the logs to its Pomfret, CT sawmill, sawed them on its band saw, then air and kiln dried the lumber before custom milling it into the 5 inch wide solid Red Oak plank flooring that now graces the Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray Colleges. This wood helped increase the percentage of locally sourced materials used in the project, helping it earn Gold LEED certification.
Wood flooring was used throughout the common areas of Pauli Murray and Benjamin Franklin Colleges, including the head of college houses.
In addition to manufacturing wood flooring, Hull Forest Products stewards over 50,000 acres of working forests in New England, helping to keep these forests as forests. Hull Forest Products has earned an Environmental Merit award from the EPA for its role in conserving forestland in New England.
For more info on our products and services, visit hullforest.com or contact us at 1-800-928-9602.
Hull Forest Products just earned the “Best Of Houzz 2018” customer service award – the company’s sixth award in a row from Houzz.com, the leading platform for home remodeling and design.
“We work hard to make wood floors like no one else, and we are thrilled that our American-grown and manufactured wide plank floors have proved so popular with the Houzz community,” says Mary Hull, co-owner of Hull Forest Products. “People feel good about choosing our floors because they are unique, beautiful, sustainable products whose use helps protect working forests here in the United States.”
“We’re delighted to recognize Hull Forest Products among our “Best Of” professionals as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes,” said Liza Hausman, vice-president of industry marketing for Houzz.
Live sawn White Oak floors are a customer favorite, with good reason. This type of wide plank wood flooring has beautiful and unique grain, is extremely durable, and offers excellent value. Read on to learn more of what’s to love about the live sawn cut:
1. Live sawing is a traditional method of sawing wood flooring that creates a beautiful grain pattern.
Live sawn White Oak floors are also known as “European center cut floors” or “French Oak floors” because this saw cut was popular in the old world. The saw passes straight through the log from the outside diameter through the heart, creating the widest possible boards and utilizing as much of each log as possible.
Because each live sawn plank contains a mix of clear and natural grade wood, the flooring is an accurate representation of the inside of each individual tree. Wide live sawn planks include some of each of the grain styles: rift sawn, quarter sawn, and plain (also known as flat) sawn.
2. Live sawn wood flooring is an extremely durable wide plank flooring choice.
Live sawn planks contain both radial grain (grain that runs perpendicular to the growth rings) and tangential grain (grain that runs parallel to the growth rings). This grain mix makes live sawn boards very stable – even at wider plank widths. We dry the floor boards carefully and mill the backs with stress relief to prevent cupping. As a result, we confidently offer our live sawn White Oak solid wood flooring in widths up to 14 inches.
3. Live Sawn White Oak floors are environmentally friendly.
The live sawn cut offers the best resource utilization of all the saw cuts. It conserves the majority of the log with very little waste. Superior resource utilization is one reason why this cut was so popular in the old days. Waste not, want not.
4. Live sawn White Oak wood floors work with modern and traditional interiors.
Live sawn White Oak floors offer one of the best values in wide plank flooring. They are an affordable luxury compared to their close cousins, rift and quarter sawn floors. (Rift and quartersawn floors result in a higher waste factor so they are more expensive.) Live sawn floors offer a very wide plank floor with the stability of quarter and rift sawn floors at a fraction of the price.
For those of you interested in quarter and/or rift sawn wood floors, we’ve put together this post to show off some of the quarter and rift sawn wood floors we’ve made for clients lately.
We are always happy to send samples of our wood floors, but sometimes it’s hard to tell from a single board how that look will translate across an entire room. We find nothing helps people make up their mind about a floor more than seeing finished room-setting photos. [Note: If you have installed our wood flooring, we encourage you to send us a photo!]
There is something very classic and comfortable about rift and quartersawn White Oak that makes it work with many decorative styles, from minimalist (as show in the Greenwich Village studio (above) to this more traditional Long Island home (below).
At our sawmill, when we quarter and rift saw a log for flooring, we first quarter the log, then we slice into it, as show in second and third images of the diagram below.
As a result, the radial and vertical grain of the wood is revealed instead of the tangential grain. The rippled figure and flecks of medullary rays that you see in quarter sawn wood (second image from the left in Exhibit 1, above) are highlighted when the wood is cut this way. These ribbon-like cellular structures run perpendicular to the growth rings, and they are responsible for transporting nutrients to the tree via sap.
In contrast, the rift sawn cut delivers grain with a very straight, uniform appearance and none of the wavy fleck, as shown in the photo below.
We can make you with a floor that is all quarter sawn grain, all rift sawn grain, or a blend of the two, which is a very popular look. One of the benefits of quarter and rift sawn wood, besides the different grain pattern, is extreme dimensional stability. This makes quarter and rift sawn wood floors ideal for demanding installations, such as over radiant heat.
Another way to change up the look of a quarter and rift sawn wood floor is to use a grade with character markings like the floor shown below.
Visit our White Oak gallery and click on any photo to get specification and pricing information for any of our floors. Have questions about our floors? Give us a call 1-800-928-9602.
Each year hundreds of students from local elementary schools, high schools, and colleges tour the Hull Forest Products sawmill in Pomfret, CT to learn about forestry and wood products manufacturing. 2017 school groups included students from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Burrillville High School in Rhode Island, and the advanced environmental studies class from nearby Pomfret Preparatory School, where teacher Annie O’Sullivan has been bringing her students to the Hull sawmill for several years now. We asked Ms. O’Sullivan to describe what role Hull Forest Products plays in her students’ learning:
“Our students have had a fantastic time touring Hull each fall for the past couple of years. I first took a tour as a grad school at Yale Forestry, so was eager to connect once I started working at Pomfret. In the fall we have a unit on Forest Ecology, so the students spend time in the Pomfret [School] forest learning their trees and about forest ecosystems in general. They then learn a bit about forestry management and why landowners might cut trees to encourage growth.
I have them think about where their wood products come from (they don’t know, except from Ikea), so that’s why we take the trip to Hull Forest Products. It’s there that the students really grasp for the first time how this natural resource they are so familiar with (red oaks) are turned into the flooring we see towards the end of the tour. They are usually pretty into the debarker and seeing the saws operating with the lasers.
My course is really about educating students about sustainability. Thus, I am trying to get them to understand that we use natural resources like water and food and trees, and that’s okay – being an environmentalist is not about rejecting all commodities. It’s really about how we grow and use them that determines what our future will look like. Hull is an amazing place for the kids to see that process right in front of their eyes.”
In the fall of 2017 students from Burrillville High School had the opportunity to tour an active timber harvest with Hull forester Chris Casadei, seeing how and why particular trees are marked for harvest. The students also toured the Hull sawmill to observe the manufacture of forest products from local logs. Students were able to see the entire process – forests being managed sustainably for the production of timber, the breaking down of logs on on a band head rig, the flow of boards through the sawmill and its dry kilns, and even the secondary manufacturing of flooring from some of this lumber.
Public outreach is an important part of every forester’s job – and we encourage our entire team to help educate the public about the vital role that forests ad forest products play in our ecosystem and economy.
Want to learn more? You can visit Hull Forest Products at these upcoming events:
March 17, 2018: Connecticut Land Conservation Conference, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
March 22-25: Architectural Digest Home Design Show, Pier 94, NYC
March 23-24: JLC Show, Providence, RI Convention Center
March 27-29: New England Society of American Foresters winter meeting, Nashua, NH: New England Forest Stories – The People – The Management – The Technical Knowledge
July 10-12: NWFA Intermediate Wood Flooring Installation, NYC